SAARC CCI Delegation Call-on to Hon’ble Commerce Minister, Engineer Khurram Dastagir, Govt of Pakistan

SAARC CCI President, Mr. Suraj Vaidya, led a delegation to call-on to Hon’ble Commerce Minister, Engineer Khurram Dastagir, Govt of Pakistan, in his office on 14th April, 2016 in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Mr. Vaidya while thanking Hon’ble Minister for sparing his precious time for meeting said that SAARC CCI was in process of formation of SAARC CEO Forum  as a joint initiatives with SAARC Secretariat. While highlighting the concept of creation of SAARC Industrial Park in South Asian countries, he termed it as instrumental to promote cross-border trade and investment. He appraised the Hon’ble Minister about his meetings in Afghanistan and shared the sense of frustration of Afghan government on SAARC Motor Vehicle Agreement and Railway links. He supported the feeling of Afghanistan and expected  a major break through in upcoming SAARC Summit in Islamabad in this respect.  He was of the opinion that unfortunately  economic development and cooperation was not the key policy of the Governments of South Asian  countries, which can be reflected from the fact that for last two years, SAFTA Ministerial Meetings has not been convened.  SAFTA alone cannot make any difference until and unless supported with cross border investment and people to people connectivity. He recommended inclusion of SAARC CCI team in of SAARC Summit committee.  He also thanked Hon’ble Minister for allocating  fund for SAARC CCI headquarter building project at Islamabad.
 
Group Photo of SAARC CCI delegation with Hon’ble Commerce Minister,
Engineer Khurram Dastagir, Govt of Pakistan.

Mr. S M Munir, CEO, TDAP, said that the role of Pakistan government is always very supportive and cooperative towards SAARC.  He said that we have noted the concerns of H.E Dr. Ashraf Ghani and can understand their position as well. He said the issues of Sugar industries payment will be raised with relevant department in their upcoming meetings.

Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President, SAARC CCI (Pakistan), said that we had fruitful meetings in Afghanistan and our idea for creation of SAARC industrial Zone and Export processing zone was welcomed by H.E Dr. Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan. 
 
Responding to dignitaries the Hon’ble Ministers said the slogan of Govt of Pakistan is “Shared Prosperity through Economic Integration”.  He said that Economic integration required merely courage for for taking immediate and doable measures.  He added that the Prime Minister of Pakistan vision was quite  clear and intact, which demands regional peace and prosperity.  He was of the opinion that the relation between Pakistan and Sri Lanka should set a precedent for rest of SAARC countries. He was of the opinion that issues pertaining to Motor Vehicle Agreement will be resolved very soon. He expressed his vision about regionalism by stating that if security matter divide us, trade  would be key factor to unite us.  He added that the trade was never stopped  between Indian and Pakistan and other countries of the region even during tense situation for which he thanked to business community of South Asia.  He urged on SAARC member nations to be more vocal and vibrant for trade liberalization, which was  the only way we could take out millions of people from poverty. Hon’ble Minister urged SAARC CCI delegation to to influence theor respective Governments to open up trade, if India was keen to get access to Afghanistan   through Pakistan, we are also keen that our goods are moved  to Bhutan and Nepal via land route of India.

Mr. Vaidya proposed Hon’ble Minister that on eve of SAARC Summit,
 
  • If MVA will be signed in upcoming SAARC Summit in Pakistan then SAARC CCI will hold a car rally starting from Afghanistan and ending it to Bhutan.  
  • Requested Ministry of Commerce to become partner organization for organizing 6th edition of  South Asian Business Leaders  Conclave at the occasion of SAARC Summit.
  • Facilitate in Soft launching of SAARC CCI headquarter building Project during Summit
  • Include SAARC CCI as a part of SAARC Summit organizing Committee.

The Hon’ble Minister was kind enough and accepted all the requests of SAARC CCI delegation.

The SAARC CCI delegation included  Abdul Rauf Alam, President, FPCCI, Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, VP SAARC CCI (Pakistan), Mr. Ziaulhaq Wazirzai, EC Member (Afghanistan),  Mr. Karma Dorji, Vice President (Bhutan),   Mr.  S.M. Muneer, CEO-TDAP, Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President , Mr.  Zubair Ahmed Malik, EC member,  Mr. Hameed Akhtar Chadda, EC member, Mr. Zubiar F.Tufail, EC member, Mr.  Gulzar Feroz, GA Member, Mr. Pervaiz  Lala, GA Member,  Mr. S M Naseer, Mr. Sohail Malik, GA member, Mr. Zafar Bakhtawari, VP-FPCCI, from Pakistan,  Mr. Ajith Prera, SG, FCCISL, Mr. Muhammad Iqbal Tabish, Secretary General and Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Butt, Deputy SG from SAARC CCI Secretariat.

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